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Trinitarios gang sweep in Bergen

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Authorities swept up and arrested several members of the notorious Trinitarios street gang on charges that include strong-armed robbery and credit-card fraud in Lodi, Hackensack, Passaic and elsewhere.

The first tip came in two weeks ago, leading Bergen County John Molinelli to create a task force to investigate random street muggings. Four suspects were identified and arrested, Molinelli said early this afternoon.

Then, last Thursday, members of the task force “received reliable information indicating that the robbery crew was planning to commit additional random robberies” that night, the prosecutor said.

The investigators set up surveillance and grabbed several crew members around 10 p.m., before any damage could be done, he said.

All are being held in the Bergen County Jail on charges ranging from first-degree strong-armed robbery and weapons possession to fraud, Molinelli said. Bail for each was set at $150,000 cash.

The prosecutor identified them as Hackensack residents Michael Perez, 19, of Lehigh Street, Ovardy D. Esquea, 18, of Central Avenue, Steven Olivo, 19, of Newman Street, and Jose L. Rosario-Florentin, 23, of South State Street, and 18-year-old Lajoni Sena of Rochelle Park.

“The Trinitarios is one of the most violent and fastest rising street gangs in the tri-state area,” Molinelli said. “They started as a prison based gang and now have become a dominant presence in the urban and suburban communities.”

The arrests are the result of a joint investigation conducted by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Chief Steven Cucciniello, along with Garfield, Hackensack, Lodi and Rochelle Park police, Molinelli said.

Court appearances are scheduled for Wednesday morning in Superior Court in Hackensack.

MUGSHOTS: Courtesy Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office

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